I wrote recently of the fact that almost every “cloud application migration” vendor had pivoted their messaging all of a sudden away from the fraught area of cloud bursting to more conservative, but understandable and palatable areas like disaster recovery and test/dev. Interesting to note then that today AppZero, another vendor in a similar area, is announcing its service provider edition for AWS – a tool which enables system integrators and IT ops to move applications onto AWS at the push of a button.

As I detailed previously, the AppZero approach is to make the application independent of the operational stack upon which it sits – AppZero creates a virtual application appliance (the VAA) which is analogous to a zip file. The AppZero platform analyses the application and works out the dependencies and packages that need to be bundled up within the VAA, packages them all up together and allows the entire application to be run on any Windows OS cloud. The “extraction” of an application from one cloud stack and migration to another is fairly simple – the source machine is accessed via network share while on the target machine the Zapp migration installed and the machine is tethered to the source machine. After that all that remains is for the application to be started and it is automatically “pages” from the source to the target – the application files, registry, configuration, data and environment.

While AppZero hasn’t completely moved away from the cloudbursting premise, it is interesting to read their messaging which is also more conservative and aimed mainly at service provider organizations who want an easy answer for their prospective customers who need an answer to the “but how do we get our apps into AWS” question.

Interestingly AppZero are using the impending end of life of Windows Server 2003 as a prompt for organizations to both update to a newer version of the OS and move to the cloud – all in one move. It’s actually a logical proposition, if an application isn’t broken one generally doesn’t fix it but when something needs to change (in this case an underlying OS), it’s a good time to reassess the broader application environment. Of course there is a gotcha there as AppZero only enables organization to move to Windows Server 2008 or 2012 – many organization want more breadth than that.

There is a material number of organizations that want to move to the cloud, and want to move existing applications there, but simply don’t know where to start. AppZero isn’t going to set the world on fire but it’s a useful addition to the quiver of tools

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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